Constans - Roman Emperor: 337-350 A.D. -
Bronze AE4 16mm (1.75 grams) Siscia mint: 347-348 A.D.
Reference: RIC 195 (VIII, Siscia), LRBC
CONSTANSPFAVG - Diademed (rosettes), draped and cuirassed bust right.
VICTORIAEDDAVGGQNN Exe: ./ASIS - Two Victories standing, facing each
each holding a wreath and palm.
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Flavius Julius Constans Augustus)
Roman Emperor from 337 to 350. He defeated his
Constantine II in 340, but anger in the army
over his personal life and preference for his barbarian bodyguards led the
Magnentius to rebel, resulting in the
assassination of Constans in 350.
Constans was the third and youngest son of
Constantine the Great and
Fausta, his father's second wife. He was
educated at the court of his father at
Constantinople under the tutelage of the poet
Aemilius Magnus Arborius.
On 25 December 333, Constantine I elevated Constans to the rank
Constantinople. Constans became engaged to
Olympias, the daughter of the
Ablabius, but the marriage never came to
pass.With Constantine’s death in 337, Constans and his two brothers,
Constantine II and
Constantius II, divided the Roman world between
themselves and disposed of virtually all relatives who could possibly have a
claim to the throne.The army proclaimed them
Augusti on September 9, 337. Almost
immediately, Constans was required to deal with a
Sarmatian invasion in late 337, over whom he
won a resounding victory.
Division of the Roman Empire among the Caesars appointed by
: from left to right,
the territories of
. After the death of
Constantine I (May 337), this was the formal division of the Empire,
until Dalmatius was killed and his territory divided between
Constans and Constantius.
Constans was initially under the guardianship of Constantine II. The original
settlement assigned Constans the
praetorian prefectures of
Italy and Africa.
Constans was unhappy with this division, so the brothers met at
Viminacium in 338 to revise the boundaries.
Constans managed to extract the prefecture of
Illyricum and the
diocese of Thrace,
provinces that were originally to be ruled by his cousin
Dalmatius, as per Constantine I’s proposed
division after his death.
Constantine II soon complained that he had not received the amount of territory
that was his due as the eldest son.
Annoyed that Constans had received Thrace and
Macedonia after the death of Dalmatius,
Constantine demanded that Constans hand over the African provinces, which he
agreed to do in order to maintain a fragile peace.
Soon, however, they began quarreling over which parts of the African provinces
Carthage, and thus Constantine, and which
Italy, and therefore Constans.
This led to growing tensions between the two brothers, which were only
heightened by Constans finally coming of age and Constantine refusing to give up
his guardianship. In 340 Constantine II invaded Italy.
Constans, at that time in
Dacia, detached and sent a select and
disciplined body of his Illyrian troops, stating that he would follow them in
person with the remainder of his forces.
Constantine was eventually trapped at
Aquileia, where he died, leaving Constans to
inherit all of his brother’s former territories –
Constans began his reign in an energetic fashion.
In 341-42, he led a successful campaign against the
Franks, and in the early months of 343 he
The source for this visit,
Julius Firmicus Maternus, does not provide a
reason, but the quick movement and the danger involved in crossing the
channel in the dangerous winter months suggests
it was in response to a military emergency, possibly to repel the
Regarding religion, Constans was tolerant of Judaism but promulgated an edict
banning pagan sacrifices in 341.
Donatism in Africa and supported
Nicene orthodoxy against
Arianism, which was championed by his brother
Constantius. Although Constans called the
Council of Sardica in 343 to settle the
it was a complete failure,
and by 346 the two emperors were on the point of open warfare over the dispute.
The conflict was only resolved by an interim agreement which allowed each
emperor to support their preferred clergy within their own spheres of influence.
In the final years of his reign, Constans developed a reputation for cruelty
Dominated by favourites and openly preferring his select
bodyguard, he lost the support of the
legions who were also offended by his
homosexuality. In 350, the general
Magnentius declared himself emperor at
Augustodunum with the support of the troops on
Rhine frontier, and later the western provinces
of the Empire. Constans was enjoying himself nearby when he was notified of the
elevation of Magnentius.
Lacking any support beyond his immediate household, he was
forced to flee for his life. As he was trying to reach either Italy or Spain,
supporters of Magnentius cornered him in a fortification in
Vicus Helena (now
Elne) in the
Gaul, where he was killed after seeking
sanctuary in a temple.
Nike was a
goddess who personified
victory, also known as the Winged Goddess of
Victory. The Roman equivalent was
Victoria. Depending upon the time of various
myths, she was described as the daughter of
Pallas (Titan) and
Styx (Water) and the sister of
Bia (Force), and
Zelus (Zeal). Nike and her siblings were close
Zeus, the dominant deity of the
Greek pantheon. According to classical (later)
myth, Styx brought them to Zeus when
god was assembling allies for the
Titan War against the older deities. Nike
assumed the role of the divine
charioteer, a role in which she often is
portrayed in Classical Greek art. Nike flew around battlefields rewarding the
victors with glory and fame.
Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings. Most other winged
deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is
the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance
Athena, and is thought to have stood in
Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon.
Nike is one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek coins.
Names stemming from Nike include amongst others:
Nicholas, Nicola, Nick, Nikolai, Nils, Klaas,
Nicole, Ike, Niki, Nikita, Nika, Niketas, and Nico.
Roman mythology, Victoria was the personification/Goddess of victory.
She is the Roman version of the
Nike, and was associated with
Bellona. She was adapted from the
Vacuna and had
temple on the
Palatine Hill. Her name (in Latin) means victory. Unlike the Greek Nike, Victoria (Latin
for "victory") was a major part of Roman society. Multiple temples were erected
in her honour. When her statue was removed in 382 AD by emperor
Gratianus there was much anger in Rome. She was normally worshipped by
triumphant generals returning from war. Also unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such
as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who
would be successful during war. Appearing on Roman coins, jewelry, architecture, and other arts, Victoria is
often seen with or in a
example of this is her place upon the
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.